Trump, Evangelicals, and the Road Ahead

David F. Watson

In 1934, at the age of 28, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a letter to a friend about an upcoming conference that would involve members of churches from several countries and denominations. In this letter, he wrote, “We must make it clear—fearful as it is—that the time is very near when we shall have to decide between National Socialism and Christianity. It may be fearfully hard and difficult for us all, but we must get right to the root of things, with open Christian speaking and no diplomacy. And in prayer together we will find the way.”[1] This was before the Holocaust began, before WWII began. But Bonhoeffer saw that one could not embrace the Christian faith and embrace the political tide of his nation that was so enamored with the Nazi party. The two simply were not compatible. On April 9th, 1945, he was executed for his part in the…

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Talented or not?

I stumbled across a post on Medium yesterday written by a woman who was complaining about all of the ‘self-proclaimed talent-less writers’ on the internet. She explained how a person is either ‘an artisan of language or they’re not.’ She followed with her definition of a great writer and described how rare it is to find.

After reading her post, I found myself questioning if I was one of the crappy writers littering the web with useless words. The more I thought about it, the more upset I became. What she described as a ‘great novel’, sounded like a book I’d never read in a million years. Does that mean I have terrible taste in books, too?

Absolutely not. If there was only one type of novel that could be considered ‘great’, there wouldn’t be many readers. We have genres because everyone is different and we all enjoy different stories. It would be awfully boring if we could only read what someone else deemed ‘great’.

Personally, I found the article disheartening. Most writers I know are already self conscious and doubt their ability to tell a great tale or create a beautiful sentence. To dedicate an entire post bashing writers is rude. Great writers may never get the nerve to share their work after reading something like that. People need to encourage each other and provide constructive criticism, not bash each other with opinion based insults.

In my opinion, being a writer is like being a painter or a collector of stamps. Not all painters are famous or paint the most beautiful paintings, but they’re still painters. It’s what they do. Not all stamp collectors have the most unique and rare stamps, but they’re still collectors. Again, it’s what they do. It’s something they love, great or not.

It’s bad taste to insult a person’s passion. The only thing you need to be a writer is a desire to write and a hand to do it with. Whether you are great in the world’s eyes is irrelevant. The truth is, there is always an audience for anything you write passionately. There will always be someone who enjoys reading your work- maybe just one person, maybe ten thousand people. But even more important than that, is making yourself happy. Do what you love and forget everybody else. Don’t ever let the opinion of another person keep you from following your dreams.

Just like a painter can improve their painting skills, a writer can improve theirs. If you follow her advice and quit because you aren’t ‘great’, you’ll never be great. If you keep writing, truly stick with it, you’ll improve your skills and will likely become great in the eyes of your intended audience. Don’t allow critics to discourage you!

What is your passion?

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Are you following your dreams?

I’ve been devouring books for as long as I can remember. Before I could read, my favorite thing to do was have my mother read stories to me.

As I got older, I began experimenting with writing my own stories or simply detailing my day in a journal. It was more than a hobby for me- it was freedom. As much as I loved it, I couldn’t imagine making a career out of writing. I enjoyed every single part of it, but I felt that my own words could never measure up to an actual published author. In my eyes, authors were celebrities.

So what did I do?

After graduating high school, I began college at the University of South Carolina. Instead of picking a major I was passionate about, I picked the one I was confident in- science. My best subjects throughout school were english and science, and science was straight forward. Learn the material; follow the rules. Easy peasy.

Here is some free advice: just because you are good at something, or even great at it, doesn’t mean you are meant to make it your job. This is a common mistake many young adults make when picking a career. If you don’t enjoy it, truly love doing it, don’t make a career of it! I can promise you that you will be miserable. I know from years of experience.

I stayed in college for three years before I ended up taking that infamous ‘year off’, and I never went back. I couldn’t understand how I could be so amazing at science and simultaneously dread doing it. Everyday I went to class or studied, my hatred grew until I stopped going completely.

Unbelievably, quitting school still wasn’t enough to convince me I’d picked the wrong career path. I came to the brilliant conclusion that hey, I must be a hands-on person. I’ll just get a job! When I landed a job at a doctor’s office, I thought it was a sign, proof that I was making the right decision.

Needless to say, I couldn’t stand going to work. Blood made me queasy and I was too much of an introvert to be good at ‘customer service’. I was happiest on the days I could type letters to patients or insurance companies!

After two years, I got married and quit working altogether. I started journaling and reading more than I ever had before, but I felt guilty for enjoying myself. Not having a job or going to school made me feel lazy. It didn’t dawn on me that I could make a career out of my passion.

I signed up for a few writing classes recently and I couldn’t be happier. I regret dedicating so much time and money into a career path that wasn’t right for me. I wish I could go back and shake myself!

I still struggle with self-doubt, but I’ve learned that every writer has and many still do. The great thing about writing though, is the more you write, the better you get. There is no greater feeling than comparing an old work to a new one and seeing your own improvement.

I think what people need to understand is, you aren’t always going to be perfect at what you’re passionate about on your first try. Don’t make the same mistakes I made, and if you already have, it’s not too late to fix them. Life is too short to spend working a job that makes you unhappy. Follow your passion- work at what you love! Now that I’m doing what my heart has always craved, the term work doesn’t fit. It’s my dream.

If you aren’t sure what your passion is, get out there and test the waters. Try new things, take a bunch of different classes and switch your major! Don’t settle! I know you have a passion inside of you, a calling, and a purpose. Find it, and the world will be a better place, not only for you, but for the many people you will inspire.

So, you want to write a book?

A study done by the New York Times found that 80% of us want to write a book, but only 1% of us actually do. Why is that?

Sitting down and writing that first page for a novel is difficult for someone who writes regularly, and even more difficult for the people who don’t. It becomes a little easier if you have an idea of what you want to write, but not by much.

In my experience, writers tend to suffer from a form of split personality. Part of them screams to get their creative brilliance onto paper, while the other half criticizes every word they’ve ever written. More often than not, people believe their self doubt as truth and move on to something else.

The problem with that is, good writing is a learned skill- you have to practice. Nobody picks up a pen for the first time and spits out a book equivalent to classic literature. Nobody. On top of that, comparing your rough draft to your favorite published book will always lead to disappointment.

Many people don’t realize that the rough draft of that favorite book was initially a mess. It had sentence structure problems, an unstable plot, an inconsistent prose and grammar mistakes at every turn. It may have even been twice as long. It took countless edits, and most likely paid editors, to finally get to its published form.

I’m not saying you can sit down and write whatever and however you want and expect an editor to fix it. You still have to work. Does someone go to their first day of a new job and automatically know how to do everything perfectly? Probably not. Writing is no different. In fact, writing can be harder because there aren’t any set rules. There are always ways to improve- always.

Am I saying anyone can write a good book? Yes, I believe anyone can. It may not be on the first, second or even third try but if you stick with it and keep writing, you’ll witness your own improvement. Can anyone get a book published? Yes. Maybe not with a traditional publisher, but anyone can self publish.

If you want to write a book, just sit down and do it. Understand that it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be painful, but every author has been there, right where you are. Imagine if they had all given up!

If you can just start that book you’ve always wanted to write, you will reap benefits beyond getting published. Your writing will improve with every word, you’ll learn discipline, and you’ll get smarter. Form the habit of writing and you won’t regret it.

*Sneek Preview of Darkness Fading Available!*

Chapter One Excerpt:

“The wind howled a dark tune as I watched the tall figure stalk along the perimeter of Sarah Marshall’s house. When he reached the back door, he slammed his elbow into the glass pane, the splintering crack echoing in time with the wind’s song. His arm slipped through the biting hole and the door swung open. He disappeared into the sleeping house.” -Darkness Fading, Book One

The first six chapters of book one in the Eternal Moon Trilogy are available to read and comment on Wattpad! Check them out here: Darkness Fading. I’d love some feedback during my editing process!

  

About the Author

My name is Bridget and I am a stay at home mom. I spend my days taking care of a toddler. So basically, I play, feed, change and bathe a princess.

At night, after my loving husband gets home, I write.

I am currently editing the first book in my Eternal Moon Trilogy: Darkness Fading. Its is available free on Wattpad until it is ready to be published.

Thanks for stopping by!